Within a few hours after conception, global changes begin to occur in the woman’s body, inevitably affecting the general condition of the expectant mother. Drowsiness during pregnancy is manifested in 90% of cases of pregnancy and for the most part does not carry a negative connotation either for the woman or for the fetus. However, it will be useful for a pregnant woman to know how to alleviate her condition and what additional signs indicate that increased drowsiness is caused by disorders that require treatment.
Why does natural drowsiness occur?
Most often, drowsiness occurs in the first trimester. It is accompanied by mild weakness, mood swings or a constant decrease in mood, dizziness and slight nausea. Sometimes these symptoms appear even before pregnancy is established – a few days after conception.
Such weakness and drowsiness during pregnancy is manifested against the background of stressful restructuring of the body. When the body understands that conception has occurred, blood pressure and hormonal levels change. This requires increased energy expenditure, and the usual amount of sleep is insufficient. At this time, you need frequent rest, including daytime.
The restructuring of the body occurs with the participation of the hormone progesterone, which makes bearing a child possible. It makes the inner wall of the uterus stronger, helps the fertilized egg to gain a foothold on it, stops menstruation, creates the necessary conditions for the subsequent growth of the baby. It is this hormone that causes lethargy, decreased performance, fatigue and drowsiness.
Doctors say that this condition is absolutely normal, painlessly tolerated by the fetus, and they advise expectant mothers to simply rest more and walk in the fresh air. By the second trimester, fatigue and drowsiness go away on their own without any outside interference.
There is a curious theory according to which sleep is the time for the body to “diagnose” its systems, draw “conclusions” and adjust the work of the body according to them. When pregnancy occurs and the transformations associated with it, the body simply needs more time for such a “revision” and restoration of energy.
Natural drowsiness also occurs in the later stages, when the body is already preparing for childbirth. A big tummy prevents you from getting enough sleep, your lower back hurts, a woman is nervous before an upcoming event. All this is the cause of daytime sleepiness: the future woman in labor simply does not rest properly at night, which means she suffers from this during the day. This is also quite normal; during this period, the expectant mother and her entourage just need to be patient.
Causes of sleepiness requiring treatment
Drowsiness during pregnancy can also appear for other, more dangerous reasons for the child and mother. It is worth starting to worry and consult a doctor if, in the second trimester, weakness and drowsiness during pregnancy do not go away, but remain or even increase.
Iron deficiency anemia is often manifested in pregnant women – a decrease in hemoglobin levels. It is a consequence of the increased cost of this substance in the body, and women who do not take this fact into account in their diet receive iron 2–3 times less than normal, which invariably leads to an acute shortage of the trace element. This can cause miscarriage, placental abruption, fetal growth retardation, and other complications. After making such a diagnosis, the doctor prescribes to drink a course of iron-containing drugs and change the diet.
The condition when you constantly want to sleep badly can be caused by hypotension – a decrease in blood pressure. In pregnant women, there is an outflow of blood to the pelvic organs, which means that if the blood circulation is insufficient or too much fluid leaves to nourish the uterus and fetus, the brain begins to starve. There is a sleepy state, dizziness, fainting may occur. It is also treated with medication. The doctor selects a course that will not harm the fetus and help the mother.
In the later stages, preeclampsia is a dangerous cause of drowsiness. Its main features are:
- high blood pressure;
- severe swelling (if it is not present, preeclampsia is not necessarily excluded, on the contrary, this may indicate the development of a more complex form);
- the presence of protein in urine tests, indicating violations of the mother’s internal organs.
Preeclampsia, a symptom of which is also fatigue and drowsiness during pregnancy, is a dangerous pathological condition that can seriously affect the development of the baby, leading to the need to induce artificial labor or caesarean section.
How to deal with drowsiness?
During pregnancy, drowsiness is a common occurrence, it is difficult to find a woman who is not familiar with this condition. If the causes do not require medical intervention, you can use general tips that will support health during periods of exacerbation of drowsiness and throughout pregnancy.
Strong drowsiness gives rise to a natural desire to cope with it. The following recommendations will help:
- Maintain the temperature in the room at 20 degrees. A deviation in both directions by one unit is permissible. If it is colder or, conversely, warmer, you will want to sleep much more.
- To combat the desire to doze off, you should ventilate the room more often (but do not sit under a draft). You should not stay in crowded rooms for a long time, go where there is tobacco smoke.
- Walking in the fresh air is the best way to get rid of drowsiness. It is advisable to take a walk every two hours for about 5-7 minutes.
- Drinking in one gulp of 200 ml of cold water, you get rid of the obsessive desire to doze off for a while.
- Drowsiness will go away if you follow your schedule. You need to sleep 10 hours a day. It is impossible to take a nap during the daylight hours – sleep more at night. It is important that the body recovers, otherwise it will be harder for the mother, and the pregnancy may be less successful.
Thinking about how to deal with drowsiness, you should give preference to a healthy lifestyle. Do you want to get rid of the desire to doze off at the workplace? It’s just worth standing outside for a couple of minutes, inhaling the smell of lemon aroma oil , signing up for a pool. This will definitely not do any harm, give a good mood, and help to endure excessive fatigue more easily during a difficult period.
In order for the state of fatigue to pass, pregnant women also need to understand that they are too sensitive emotionally – more than usual. Therefore, any anxiety can result in sleepless nights, and they can lead to complications. Constant fatigue is a sign that you need to rest, not panic.
What needs to be changed in the diet?
Having understood the causes of drowsiness during pregnancy, you need to properly adjust the diet. For starters, you should be:
- from coffee, energy drinks and strong black tea – this is harmful to the baby and will not help the mother much;
- spicy, sour and salty foods that spoil the stomach and interfere with the absorption of nutrients;
- cigarettes and alcohol are strictly prohibited, especially strong drinks;
- a large number of buns, cookies and other muffins and pastries – they are of no use, only “fast” energy, which is useless during pregnancy;
- excessive consumption of milk and cheese – they reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron and can lead to anemia, which can jeopardize the pregnancy itself.
It is worth remembering that if a pregnant woman really wants to, almost everything is possible. Of course, we are not talking about cigarettes or strong alcohol, but a few sips of champagne or diluted dry red wine will not harm and calm the woman. Nerves in this state must be protected in the same way as health in general. However, it is important to remember the doses – a couple of sips should really be a couple of sips, and the desire for pickles should not be an eaten jar, but thinly sliced several vegetables.